Are high energy bills putting a drag on your household finances? Heating and cooling can account for nearly half of the typical home's utility bills. While spending so much just to stay comfortable might be frustrating, this high percentage also means that your HVAC system is a ripe target for significant efficiency gains.
If you're looking to reduce your energy costs, a local HVAC contractor might quickly become your new best friend. As the summer begins to wind down, consider these three ways you can drive down your energy costs before winter and, eventually, next summer arrive.
1. Schedule an Air Duct Leakage Test
Your home's ductwork can leak for many reasons, including poor installation, age, or physical damage. While it's easy to ignore leaky ductwork, it's a potentially very significant problem. Any loss of conditioned air will force your HVAC equipment to work much harder, wearing out components more quickly while increasing your overall energy usage.
An air leakage test alone won't solve any issues, but it can help you understand why your energy bills may seem unusually high. Repairing ductwork can be costly (depending on the leak location), but it's an expense worth considering due to the potential for long-term savings on your utility bills.
2. Keep Up With Routine Maintenance
Your HVAC system requires maintenance at least once per year, and simply changing your filter when you remember isn't enough. A professional HVAC contractor checks a wide range of components during an annual inspection, including everything from your electrical connections to your blower. This checklist often drastically exceeds what a do-it-yourselfer can reliably accomplish.
Keeping your HVAC system running flawlessly is by far the best way to keep your utility bills in check. An annual check-up by an HVAC contractor ensures that your system is always operating at peak efficiency. Even better, they'll be able to find any problems before they cost you hundreds of dollars in increased utility bills.
3. Replace Old or Worn Components
Another benefit of annual service visits is knowing when your system's components may be reaching their end-of-life. Old parts consume more electricity and fail more often, ultimately costing you more money. If you know that part of your system is getting much too old, then it's a good idea to consider a replacement.
Remember that HVAC problems tend to cost more over time. Ignoring a component that's failing or simply operating less efficiently than it should is a poor strategy for saving money. Instead, replace or repair failing components as soon as you can to ensure your system is operating as close to peak efficiency as possible.